Human Aging and CD31+ T-cell Number, Migration, Apoptotic Susceptibility, and Telomere Length
CD31(+) T cells, or so-called "angiogenic T cells," have been shown to demonstrate vasculoprotective and neovasculogenic qualities. The influence of age on CD31(+) T-cell number and function is unclear. We tested the hypothesis that circulating CD31(+) T-cell number and migratory capacity are reduced, apoptotic susceptibility is heightened, and telomere length is shortened with advancing age in adult humans. Thirty-six healthy, sedentary men were studied: 12 young (25 ± 1 yr), 12 middle aged (46 ± 1 yr), and 12 older (64 ± 2 yr). CD31(+) T cells were isolated from peripheral blood samples by magnetic-activated cell sorting. The number of circulating CD31(+) T cells (fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis) was lower (P < 0.01) in older (24% of CD3(+) cells) compared with middle-aged (38% of CD3(+) cells) and young (40% of CD3(+) cells) men. Migration (Boyden chamber) to both VEGF and stromal cell-derived factor-1α was markedly blunted (P < 0.05) in cells harvested from middle-aged [306.1 ± 45 and 305.6 ± 46 arbitrary units (AU), respectively] and older (231 ± 65 and 235 ± 62 AU, respectively) compared with young (525 ± 60 and 570 ± 62 AU, respectively) men. CD31(+) T cells from middle-aged and older men demonstrated greater apoptotic susceptibility, as staurosporine-stimulated intracellular caspase-3 activation was ∼ 40% higher (P < 0.05) than young. There was a progressive age-related decline in CD31(+) T-cell telomere length (young: 10,706 ± 220 bp; middle-aged: 10,179 ± 251 bp; and older: 9,324 ± 192 bp). Numerical and functional impairments in this unique T-cell subpopulation may contribute to diminished angiogenic potential and greater cardiovascular risk with advancing age.
Journal of Applied Physiology
DOI of Published Version
Kushner, Erich J; Weil, Brian R; MacEneaney, Owen J; Morgan, Richard G; Mestek, Michael L; Van Guilder, Gary; Diehl, Kyle J; Stauffer, Brian L; and DeSouza, Christopher A, "Human Aging and CD31+ T-cell Number, Migration, Apoptotic Susceptibility, and Telomere Length" (2010). Health and Nutritional Sciences Faculty Publications. 44.